I met people and made friends through my AOL Journal, and was amazed at the community that inhabited the AOL Journals space. I made some friends there that I will always hold in my heart, even though I never met some of them.
Blogging gave me an opportunity and inspiration to sit down and work my thoughts and feelings into words. When I am in my most authentic voice, writing about something that really matters, I find it to be among the subtlest and most unexpected pleasures of my life, as well as good exercise for a often muddled brain.
The folks at AOL pretty much killed the AOL Journals community when they forced advertising banners onto the pages of the members. I don't know why that pissed everyone off so much, but within a few weeks many of the people I knew had picked up and moved to new locations. Although I kept in touch with some folks, things haven't been the same since.
Today, AOL announced they are shutting down AOL Journals, and asking everyone to pick up their stuff and go elsewhere.
The party of course, is long over.
In my mind, I imagine a lonely chap with a broom and bucket, cleaning up in some darkened hall after a grand affair has ended and wondering what magic might have happened there.
To all my fellow former AOL Journalers, I offer my best wishes.